If you’ve been hurt on the job, you may be entitled to vital benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. To protect yourself, your health, and your injury claim, there are several important things to know, including:
1. What Is Considered a Workplace Injury?
A workplace injury is any injury that occurs during the course and scope of employment. Workers’ compensation covers injuries that result from accidents, but a single specific incident is not a requirement for coverage. For example, repetitive trauma injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome may be covered. Occupational illnesses such as silicosis or asthma may also give rise to a workers’ compensation claim.
In some cases, a workplace accident makes an existing injury or medical condition worse. Such aggravated injury claims may also entitle a worker to benefits, and an attorney’s help is particularly important in these difficult cases.
2. How Do I Report a Work-Related Injury?
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission advises injured workers to report workplace injuries to their employer immediately and seek medical treatment when necessary. In South Carolina, all work-related injuries must be reported within 90 days. Failure to report within the 90-day time frame could cost the injured worker the benefits that they would otherwise be entitled to.
It is a good idea to report your accident as soon as possible. Your supervisor or the company’s safety director or other representative should be alerted to the accident. Telling them right away – both verbally and by submitting a written report – can help prevent any confusion as to when the accident happened and how it occurred.
Even though there is a 90-day time limit for reporting an accident, a victim has up to two years to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that an employee sustained fatal injuries, the surviving qualified family members must file a claim within two years.
3. When Should I Seek Medical Assistance?
If you need medical attention, alert your employer that you need to see a doctor right away. Make it clear that your visit is related to a work injury when you visit the doctor.
South Carolina law gives employers the right to direct care and treatment for injured employees. This means that your employer will either send you to a doctor of their choosing or will give you permission to see your own doctor. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy will be responsible for paying for 100% of your medical treatment.
4. When Can I File for Workers’ Compensation?
Once you report your injuries, your employer is responsible for filing your workers’ compensation claim with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, if you feel that you were not offered sufficient benefits, you may file a claim yourself. This will entail you filling a Form 50. Those filing on behalf of a deceased family member will file Form 52 with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Need Help with a Workers’ Comp Claim? Call Us Today
As an injured worker, you are protected by South Carolina laws. The South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers of Schiller & Hamilton are here to help explain your rights and help you seek the benefits you are owed. Contact us now by phone or online to schedule a free consultation with us.